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Biometrics - your face is your password

In a radical new approach to solving identiy theft, CBL researchers are using three-dimensional information to obtain a unique biometric signature of a person's face. With cutting-edge hardware and novel algorithms, they are designing system that turns a process practically as effortless as taking a photograph into a powerful authentication protocol.

Remembering dozens of personal identification numbers and passwords is not the solution to identity theft. Both are inconvenient to memorize and impractical to safeguard, and in essence merely tie two pieces of information together. Once the secret is compromised, the rest follows. The solution is to be able to tie private information to its owner in a way that cannot be compromised - biometric authentication

The CBL's URxD system has the potential to move face recognition technology to the high performance gear needed for widespread application. The system determines not only the characteristics of each face, but also whether the person is wearing glasses, allowing for a practical system which offers high accuracy. So far, face recognition methods have focused on appearance - capturing, representing, and matching facial characteristics as they appear on two-dimensional images in the visible spectrum. This is quite challenging to machine recognition because such characteristics vary with orientation, age, habits (e.g., bearded appearance), and illumination. Instead, our system uses three-dimensional information, and has achieved the best published results when tried to 4,007 datasets (part of the international face recognition Grand Challenge organized by NIST). These results show strong promise in overcoming the difficult problems that have been holding back progress in this field for many years.